It's so customary to make charitable contributions around the holidays that some people don't even think twice about doing it. But that doesn't mean those good deeds don't reap tax benefits as well.
For starters, any charitable contribution is tax deductible up to 50 percent of your income. And you can get tax savings with noncash donations as well.
For example, there are benefits if you are stocking up at the supermarket for a food-collection truck or purchasing winter coats for a coat drive. In that case, the entire cost of a new coat is tax deductible.
If you are contributing gently worn coats or jackets and other clothing your kids outgrew, you can only deduct the thrift shop or fair market value, which is less than retail.
Other noncash donations can work as well, like cleaning out your closets and donating old clothing, books, toys, furniture and kitchen goods. All count toward your charitable contribution, as far as Uncle Sam is concerned.
"Those are great actions to take this time of year," said Kathy Pickering, executive director of H&R Block's Tax Institute.
In order to get the deduction come next April, keep a receipt of the donation, a note of the organization's name, and the date and fair market value of all noncash goods, Pickering said.